Day 17 OUR SECOND DAY in the MAASAI MARA

Day two and the Mara is good to us again.  We are surrounded!  We got wildebeest to the left, zebra to the right, and we’re the only car around.  Whee!  (Jimmy Buffett can borrow that if he’d like….)

1_mirror

 

I do love the zebra.  This nursing mother and young colt could have a difficult time when they get to the river. 

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Next we come across a matriarch herd of elephants.  Since their gestation period is 22 months, this mother has three young ones from atleast the last 6 years.  They develop such close bonds and only the males tend to leave the groups as they mature.  Often several females will stay together.  They take turns caring for the young ones.

3_ellei_family

Researchers believe elephants grieve a loss and will even “pay their respects” when returning to a place where one died.  Babies are particularly affected when they loose their mother.  Although most countries are working to reduce poaching, habitat loss also is reducing their numbers.  

If you ever travel to this area, try to save a day or two in Nairobi to travel to the Elephant Orphanage.  We didn’t scedule enough slack time, but other members of our party said it is truly a life-changing experience.  (Guess we’ll just have to come back.)

Day closes with another spectacular African sunset–this one on the open Mara plains.

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Back at the lodge, Maasai tribal dancers perform before dinner.

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 These are men, chanting with their traditional jumping.

 

Tomorrow we’re headed for a camp on the Mara River!

 

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